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Old 05-26-2014, 04:26 PM   #1
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What happens when you top out the graywater tank?

We got to 7/8 (according to the meter) by the end of our 2 1/2 day trip. Obviously we have some water economy to master. But I'm just wondering ... what would have happened had we actually hit full capacity? Would it back up into the blackwater? Back up into the trailer?

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Old 05-26-2014, 04:32 PM   #2
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I assume you're talking about the grey water tank. When it's full it will start backing up in to the shower.

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Old 05-26-2014, 04:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Belbein View Post
We got to 7/8 (according to the meter) by the end of our 2 1/2 day trip. Obviously we have some water economy to master. But I'm just wondering ... what would have happened had we actually hit full capacity? Would it back up into the blackwater? Back up into the trailer?
First it fills the shower pan, then overflows onto the floor. If you really hate G.I. showers you can plug the drain on the shower, take your shower and bail most of the contents of the pan into the black tank via the toilet. On most newer Airstreams the two tanks are the same size and you'll almost always fill the gray tank 3-5 times faster. So equalize!

And BTW, cutting down on dish washing helps too. Use paper plates, and for things you have to wash a small tub of sudsy water - rinse quickly in the sink or another tub and wipe dry. Running water use is high! Avoid when possible.

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Old 05-26-2014, 04:43 PM   #4
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If you are at a CG and are hooked up to their sewer, and plan on being there a while, I leave the grey water open until the black water is getting to 3/4 full. I then close the grey water for a day to build up some soap water for use when dumping the black tank. Then I close the black tank and open the grey water until the next round.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:03 PM   #5
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Mastering water consumption is a key element when using the holding tanks - as said above, the gray tank usually fills quickly.

Tanks come in various sizes so it's difficult to simply compare how long one person, or couple, or family can go without their gray tank filling up. Danielle and I have a 39 gallon gray tank and we typically fill it at a rate of 2 - 3 gallons/person/day. We're at the 2 gallon rate if we use paper plates or otherwise have a means to dump dish water. We're at the 3 gallon rate if we're washing dishes into the gray tank. Maybe that will give you a guide but we are by no means the most frugal when it comes to consuming and disposing of gray water.

We recently filled our gray water and yes, it backs up into the shower first. There are lots of way to avoid this - the easiest is to use paper plates as mentioned in the earlier post, probably second easiest is dump your dish water into the toilet but first ensuring there are no knives or other implements that will fall into the black tank!

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Old 05-26-2014, 05:48 PM   #6
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We fill the gray water tank twice as fast as the black tank.
We use the shower for storage and only use it for showers when we boondock (we're 6' tall - hate the small shower) - use the rv park for showers.
On the first trip I learned about gray tank backing up in to shower (wet cloths - wife pi--ed). For the next trip I built 'duck boards' for the shower. They sit down into the shower, about 4" off the bottom, and can be easily removed.
Works great and cook (wife) happy!
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:31 PM   #7
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I also have a 25 gallon auxiliary holding tank on wheels that I take with me dependent upon my length of stay. This gives me the ability to off load some grey water during longer stays. Problem sometimes lies in the particular campground and the ground the tank sits on. 25 gallons is heavy and if the ground the tank sits on isn't firm, the wheels on the tank will sink into the ground.


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